Athletic squad suffers amid power struggle

Parallel POAs’ internal strife leads to players’ exclusion from Asian Games.

Our Correspondent September 11, 2014


Athletics will not be part of Pakistan’s delegation heading into the upcoming Asian Games in Korea due to infighting between the parallel Olympic associations of the country.

The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) works under Arif Hasan, whereas the other POA is headed by Akram Sahi, also president of the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP).

All the athletes and officials were asked to apply directly to Hasan’s POA by the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) in order to receive accreditation for the event — this did not sit well with Sahi.

In the board’s last executive committee meeting, Sahi had a heated exchange with the IPC and PSB officials, reminding them that they too had been against Hasan until the IOC stepped in.

“Athletics will not be a part of the Asian Games, but this isn’t the end for the athletes,” Sahi told The Express Tribune.

“These aren’t the last Asian Games; our athletes will continue to appear in major international events. We’re still standing our ground [of opposing Hasan’s POA], but some people have forgotten their previous policies.”

Meanwhile, prominent athletes said that they were disappointed to miss out on this important assignment as they had worked hard for the event.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2014.

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